Saffron [crocus sativus] has many names in the various languages : safran, saffran, zafferano, azafran , komar-romar.
Known in Jewish sources as Karcom.[not kurkum,that is turmeric]
More expensive then platina, but worth it ! The pistels are used.
Each flower has only 3 pistels and for 30 gram of saffran one needs some 5000 flowers [15000 pistels ]
A wonderful spice known since biblical times: every day we mention in the prayers when saying korbanot [offerings] in
"pitum ha-ketoret" the word karkom together with the other spices.
English website about ketoret:http://www.betemunah.org/ketoret.html
Further mentioned in shir ha-shirim [Song of Songs]
Saffron is very well known in Spain were it is used in dishes called paella where the saffron gives the dish a golden colour..
The Italian dish risotto milanese is also well known., as well as the French bouillabaisse.[may contain not kosher see food]
Saffron can be bought as red-gold threads in little bags or as a powder.
As it easily can be adulterated with cheaper yellow spies like turmeric [curcum] it is wise not to buy it in powder form.
The quality can vary tremendously and this is not the place to discuss this subject ,and also not to the very long fascinating history of this spice.
Two of the most clear modern uses of saffron are the treatment for a wide variety of cancers .[colon cancer,ovarium cancer,also leucemia, and even sarcoma.] and for the treatment of depressions.
I would strongly advise anybody who is under oncological treatment to add saffron to their daily meals.
Already from old it has been described as "refreshing the spirits" [culpepper]
High doses [even from1.5 gram and certainly 5 gram or more] should not be used as these can be toxic and also can cause abortions.
No body will do this as it is far to expensive for this!!
A nice Dutch book writes humoristically [?!] that if you take to much saffron you may "die" from happiness ……]
Culpepper [17 th century] write that is is good for hysterical depression [ an old term, not used now a days]
Whenever the word "hysteria" is used in older writing it also means that there is an influence on the female organs [uterus], so saffron has been used for various menstrual problems
Culpepper also mentions it further for cough, lung problems and digestive problems["strengthens the stomach"]
Very useful for children with fever,abdominal cramps[colic],against restlessness during teething,[ just a few threads for a cup of tea.
Because of the yellow-reddish pistils it was of course also used for jaundice.
If the menstruation does not comes "smoothly" you may use it as well.
In normal small amounts it can be used during pregnancy without dangers.
Patents have been developed for compounds which are found in saffron for the treatment of spinal cord injuries and even for cerebral edema in cats
The same has been true for treatment of blood vessels damage and high blood fats[lipids].
Even if these has been animal experiments it is quite likely that using saffron [instead of the patented compounds] may have sort like effects in human beings,especially when saffron is known to be "mood lifting",which is not a bad thing for heart and vessel problems.
Also for more functional problems like nervous heart palpitations it will for sure be a good idea.
Saffron also has been highly prized as an aphrodisiac .
Saffron tea has been used in the past for children with measles and also during various epidemic infections like smallpox, the last mentioned was eradicated from the earth in 1979 by one of the most successful [ vaccination ] campaigns in the history of medicine.
[ please,also see the article i sent to you [ if you are on my mailing list] about measles and the very important issue of taking high doses of vitamin A if a child get measles ]
Whereas every food,spice etc may be good for one person with a certain constitution,it may be less appropriate fro another one with another constitution.
Saffron is considered to be good for all constitutions [vata,pitta,kapha] in the traditional medical system of India
[so called Ayurveda ]
To give a two more examples in this connection: cumin and fennel also work positive on all constitutions.according to Ayurveda [good for everybody]
Ginger , as well as other spice are are very important but may not be good for everybody [they will certainly will not cause "damage", but certain people may less well of with them]
Something about the quality: the pistels [the "threads"] should be bright orange-red if it is of high quality.The redder, the better!
Should not have any yellow in it.
If the saffron is used in cooking it is often added at the end of the cooking process.
It is best to steep a pinch or so of the saffron in a cup of hot water for at least 20 minutes beforehand [longer is even better].This amount will be enough for 1/2 kg of rice.Don’t take out the pistels/ the threads [don’t sieve!!], add it all to the cooking dish.
If the saffron is artificially colored the water will get red directly, this a sign of falsification [artificial coloring]
Another idea of amounts to be used:1/4 gram may be enough for a dish for 6 persons.
And at last : for coffee lovers: add some cardamon and some saffron to your cup of coffee.
It may help prevent palpitations even for the "most sensitive ones" between you.
prpsaffron prpcrocus prpsafraan